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Nutrition During Cancer Treatment

Healthy eating guidelines recommend consuming enough fruits, vegetables and whole grains and recommend limiting fat, sugar, alcohol and salt. If you are going through cancer treatments and do not feel well it can be difficult to meet your nutrition needs and follow the healthy eating guidelines. You may need to change your diet while you are not feeling well to help you manage the side effects of cancer and cancer treatments.


During treatment, you may need to include foods and beverages that may be considered less healthy to help meet nutrition needs. For example, high-fat and high-calorie foods may be recommended to prevent weight loss or promote weight gain. Keep in mind that once side effects improve you can resume following the healthy eating guidelines.


Good nutrition throughout cancer treatment may help you:

  • Maintain strength and energy
  • Maintain body weight
  • Meet nutrient needs (calories, protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, fluids, vitamins, minerals)
  • Have better tolerance of side-effects related to the treatment
  • Fight infection
  • Improve healing and recovery

These suggestions are not meant to replace talking to your doctor and registered dietitian. For more information regarding the importance of good nutrition during cancer treatment, schedule an appointment with the Registered Dietitian at the UW Carbone Cancer Center by calling (608) 265-1700.